STUNG by a tough legislative defeat in Texas, banking officials are working other angles to ease restrictions on insurance sales in the state. Page 2


TWO CALIFORNIA banks that were founded in 1982 are planning to merge. SJNB Financial of San Jose has a stock deal to purchase Saratoga Bancorp. Page 6


ANNUITY SALES through banks surged 31% in the second quarter, to a record $7.3 billion. Page 7

EASTERN BANK of Lynn, Mass., will add property and casualty insurance sales through a marketing agreement with a local insurance agency. Page 7


LATIN AMERICA's financial markets tend to be manic-depressive. A decade ago the mood was manic; today it is depressive. Page 4

BANK OF NEW YORK chairman Thomas A. Renyi told employees that he was "deeply troubled by the possibility that our controls may have been compromised" in the Russian money-laundering scandal. He said the bank has reacted swiftly to assess its internal systems. Page 4

FRENCH REGULATORS have quashed Banque Nationale's effort to control a significant stake in Societe Generale. Page 4


THE WEB-BASED lender Finet.com has been cutting costs and increasing revenues slightly, reducing its net loss. Page 8

INVESTORS SNAPPED UP the first domestic package of securities backed by a mortgage that usually depends on death for repayment. Page 9


PARTNERSHIPS are being forged that extend the benefits of electronic check presentment to banks, writes Chase executive Michael Pasiecki. Page 10

ON-LINE BANKING A SERVICE introduced this month gives consumers access to multiple accounts through their favorite Web portals. Page 11


SOVEREIGN BANCORP shares have declined 6.9% in the last few days as rumors intensify that the $25 billion-asset thrift will buy as many as 300 branches expected to be divested in the merger of Fleet and BankBoston. Page 22

BANK STOCKS BUCKLED on news of rising home sales in July and worries that higher interest rates might result. Back page

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